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I think my expectations were just too high

Philadelphia...
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I think my expectations were just too high

Hi everyone, we just returned from a week's stay at the Seven Stars in Provo. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was very nice. As my subject line says, I think my expectations were set too high, however. I'm not a snob, I'm not hard to please, etc., but I just expected something special or extraordinary about Turks and Caicos after all the gushing I heard about it. Please don't slam me, it's not warranted, I'm just giving my own, though somewhat disappointed, honest experience/opinion.

I guess because I always heard Turks is so fantastic, I expected something special, I don't know what exactly, but something, so I suppose I was let down. I found nothing different or special than any other island, I'd say it will probably go to the bottom of my list along with Punta Cana, unfortunately. As I said, the resort was fantastic, but the island itself was pretty junkie. Of course I know most islands are not prestine outside of the resorts, but again, I had high expectations for Turks. There were rundown, delapidated buildings everywhere, even nice homes had deplorable grounds in and around their properties, there were stray dogs everywhere. My day was ruined when I saw a stray dog trying to make his way across the street, limping. I wish the resorts and government would give some of the money they make to take control of the animal problem. My heart sunk when I saw this dog, I felt so bad. Heck, drinks cost $16 and probably only $1 to make so they should share the wealth and help the animals more with a spay and neuter program moreso than they have.

I did find the sand to be the softest I've ever felt, but as far as the water, island itself, things to do and see, I found nothing special about Turks, I'm sad to say :( Yes, I did relax and enjoy the time away, but I wouldn't go back. I think I'd only recommend Turks to someone who just wanted to relax and eat, not have much else to do or see. I know all islands are costly, but Turks was out of control. $16 for a drink, $75 for a sweatshirt, it was more expensive than Hawaii and I just don't get it! I can see if they were so far away from civiliation, but with being only 500 miles from Miami, I think the prices were ridiculous and I'm not cheap.

Again, don't slam me, there's no need for that when someone is giving their opinion. I did like the hotel, I enjoyed relaxing and the sand and water were beautiful. My point of this thread is I to say I just didn't get all the hype about Turks and my expectations were not met, that's all. My husband thought the same as did other wonderful people we met there, I guess it just wasn't for us. We do like to experience different islands though, so I will add this to the list and look forward to the next :)

Toronto, Canada
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11. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I will also add, if you are well-travelled, jumping from island to island, trying to find the "best" one, can be exhausting. Other than Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, we have been to Hawaii (all islands), Aruba, St. Lucia, USVI, Antigua, Tortola, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Barbados, Bahamas, Martinique. I could go on, but take it from someone who has been around. I think you have missed the subtle magic of Provo. Not slamming, just saying :)

Massachusetts
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12. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

"I think you have missed the subtle magic of Provo". I think LoveProvoTO has hit upon it, Cloenkitty. I wouldn't dream of slamming you - but I think you either "get" Provo and the T&C Islands, or you don't. I have a lot of friends and family who wouldn't be happy vacationing on Provo, and that's why we never ask any of them to travel with us. They would be bored, and would see the expensive drinks and the unfinished homes and the dogs. I don't notice any of it really when I'm there because I am in awe of the water and beach and people, and just enjoy being on the island, shopping at the grocery store for stuff, puttering around the island on a whim and getting out and seeing everything. We also enjoy at least one snorkeling/boat trip every time to get us off of Provo and out seeing the wonderful scenery on the water and some of the other Cays. To me, that's part of the "magic". I'm glad you've shared your thoughts and perspective, if for nothing less than to deter others who may be swayed by so many of us who love it there. Take care.

Antioch, Illinois
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13. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I cant even put into words why we love tci so much, but we do. It is the ultimate vacation for us. As everyone has said, it is not for every one, but it is where we like to plant our feet and soak up all that the island has to offer. I would be happy vacationing here every year for the rest of my life. I think those of us who are "addicted" know that feeling, and I hope that those of you who are interesting in visiting read through all the posts to see if it truly fits your wants and needs. That will help to avoid any dissappointments. It's a true R & R destination, that offers us pure serenity in the beach, waters and dining experiences.

Mullica Hill, New...
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14. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

For some reason I thought I remembered your name from a while back and found this piece of advice to you from caribdesi in 2009:

"I hated Punta Cana, was so bored at night, i could have cried."

To me, that's a red flag that you might also find the TCI too boring. It's a beach / water destination pure and simple, with excellent accommodations, great dining, but little in the form of entertainment and nightlife (especially compared to more developed destinations).

Also, the TCI are coral-formed islands, which means they are basically dry and arid, unlike the more tropical, lush, volcanic formed islands. However, the beaches and water are unsurpassed, IMO.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147395-i212-k3221…

I am not sure who convinced you to come anyway, but at least you did some research first. Didn't follow the advice, but at least you researched. : )

Champlin Minnesota
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15. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I understand your comments and agree with many---only one person really slammed my review which is too bad, everyone is entitled to their opinion. We've been to many other islands and T&C's interior was the worst we had seen relative to garbage, abandoned stuff, etc. But the stray dog issue bothered us greatly. I know there are other islands that are worse. We had been going to Grand Cayman for 15 years prior to visiting T&C and didn't see these issues--yes, a smattering of poor housing conditions, but nothing to the degree on T&C. The beach at GC while not quiet as nice or as long, is darn close. Yes, GC is much busier and commercialized and there is more to do and yes, the water color isn't as awesome as in T&C, but it's very pretty. St. John was nice, Aruba was nice---neither with the degree of poverty seen on T&C (again, isolated pockets, not wholesale disbursement of garbage, abandoned stuff, stray animals). We won't be going back to T&C either. But just because there are those of us with this opinion, doesn't mean we want phony, scrubbed clean Disney-type properties like Atlantis---I find that disgusting. So in the end to each his own.

Edited: 05 May 2012, 18:29
Washington DC...
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16. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

"We Just Returned"

Unfortunately you had one of the worst weather weeks in years, even during hurricanes the weeks have been sunnier!

Too bad, because that weather was extremely unusual for Provo. Having said that, it can totally affect your opinion of an island. When it's overcast, everything seems dingier, maybe even dirtier, this is the case anywhere in the world.

I completely understand though, that if you've had bad weather, it would totally affect your opinion. It has affected my opinion of many places that are normally perfectly delightful and well loved, and for me never have to return.

Hope you have great weather on your next destination!

And if you need excitement, use these boards to find your perfect destination.

PS stay away from Anguilla and St. Barth, both are more expensive than TCI. Anguilla is very similar to Provo. You'll be bored in the Out Islands of Bahamas too.

You might want to check out St. Martin, although their stray dog population is worse.

Bayonne, New Jersey
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17. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I am curious how long was your stay in the turks and caicos Islands? I also was a veteran of the Cayman Island but alas the traffic heading downtown to Georgetown killed it for me. Seven Mile Beach....beautiful but not Grace Bay.

Interesting experience I had last year with a marine biologist from the Cayman islands. he was over to compare the life on the reefs in the TCI to the Cayman's. After a few dives with him, I asked him. Well what do you think? The answer........no comparison! It was sad to hear that the bigger fish life has all but disappeared into the deep over in the Cayman's! Sharks have become a rare event there! Not on Provo.... healthy reefs with little overall interfernce from the amount of divers.

That is the draw you really do not know what is in the water around the TCI.

Maybe you will encounter dolphins, sharks always, and I have even ran into Manta Rays. Seen a tiger shark last June, never ran into those over in the Caymans! Bloody Wall....West Caicos is better!

LI NY
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18. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I'm bumming after reading this post but at least more positives then negatives.

Leaving at the end of the month, and staying at SS, whats with the stray dogs? Are they all over Grace Bay? Thats heartbreaking..

"Maybe you will encounter dolphins, sharks always, and I have even ran into Manta Rays." Sharks always?? So I shouldn't learn to paddle board?

Want to take a snorkel excursion but now I'm getting second thoughts!! ~;0)

Douglassville...
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19. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

I just thought I'd add that we have similar feelings, Chloe. With all the time spent researching, reading, and trying to decide where to stay for our first trip to TCI, I expected to completely fall in love...however, I feel like I can cross it off my list now and move on.

We stayed at Club Med and I am so glad we did. It was completely fun, we had a beautiful beach right in front of us, but for our last night when we stayed next door at Ocean Club, we were completely bored. We dined at Opus that evening, and while a beautiful setting for a restaurant, I thought my husband was going to have a canary when the bill came and we paid $8.00 each for a bottle of water. I knew going in that the prices there were going to be high, but it just doesn't feel worth it to me. I am truly glad we went there and got see that beautiful water for ourselves, but we'll probably look for another destination next time. I realize that there are ways to do Provo on a budget from all of the posts that I've read, but I feel like we've gotten our money's worth with this past trip.

Thanks, Blamona for your post. I was considering Anguilla.... but now realize I won't be happy going there either :-)

Mullica Hill, New...
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20. Re: I think my expectations were just too high

doert, they aren't around the Grace Bay area. They are in the residential areas, and it's not like they are everywhere but for those of us who are used to never seeing a stray dog it can be startling.

Decktime is an avid diver, so he means sharks on all dives. I have never seen a shark snorkeling, but a few times walking on the beach I have seen them in the water. Small sand sharks I believe. They want nothing to do with you.